Instrumental Manual


East Hartford Public SchoolsElementary Instrumental Student and Parent Handbook2010-11



1.  Bring your INSTRUMENT, MUSIC, PENCIL and AGENDA to your weekly lesson.            

2.  Follow class rules.    

3.  Practice!    

 4.  Perform in all school concerts.    

5.  Enjoy making music! 


1.      Help your child select a private “practice corner” at home away from distractions.  Consider purchasing a folding music stand.  It will help to arrange music at eye level and promote correct playing position/posture. 

2.      Ask to hear your child's assigned music pieces. Give positive feedback such as: “Nice job,” “You played that song very well,” “Excellent position,” “You played without stopping,” “You had good concentration,” “Keep on trying,” etc. 

3.      Lend guidance to the length of your child's practice time.            Beginners: at least 15 minutes per day. 

          Second, third and fourth year players: a minimum 20 to 30 minutes at least five days a week.

 4.      Attend all school concerts and support your child’s music making. 

5.      Take pride and satisfaction in watching your child reap the benefits of lifelong skills through music education. 

PERFORMANCESWe will have school concerts in December and May.  There will be performance practices at the Middle School for those second and third year Band and Orchestra students who are selected to participate in the Inter-El Honors Music Festival in March 2011. All first year instrumental band students will perform in the All-Town Band and all string students will perform in the All-Town Orchestra in May. (See the last page of this handbook for concert dates.) 


GIRLS: White blouses; long black skirts (skirts and dresses MUST COVER the knees while sitting) or black dress pants; black dress shoes. BOYS: White collared dress shirts (tucked in your pants), a tie; long black dress pants; black socks, black dress shoes.


 1. Follow directions the FIRST time 

2. RESPECT each other 

3. Always do your BEST 

4. Play only when DIRECTED 

5. Demonstrate a POSITIVE attitude  

Advantages for following the rules 

1. Verbal praise                                                                                                  

2. Feeling of accomplishment 

3. More time for music 

4. Play favorite songs                                                 

GRADING POLICY Grading is based upon lessons, class work, quizzes, performance assessments, practice, and participation in concerts. Here are the areas we grade students on throughout the year:         

Performs/ Reads·                    Notes and rhythm from notation (as written)·                    Using accurate articulation (tonguing, sticking, bowing)·                    Using good tone quality (sound is characteristic of the instrument)·                    Plays instrument in tune (ability to match pitch)  

Displays/Demonstrates·                    Proper posture/playing position ·                    Knowledge of terms, symbols and rudiments (percussion skills)·                    Ability to assess musical performance of self and others             

Preparation/Study Habits  ·                    Lesson (Attended)·                    Ensemble (Attended)·                    Brings instrument/music to class·                    Attention in lessons/rehearsals·                    Practice (Home) 

Concerts— Instrumental music students are expected to play in the day and evening concerts.  A performance is a team effort and attendance is critical to everyone's success.  Missing a concert may jeopardize participation in the group. Practice —Daily practice is essential for developing your musical skills.  Each week you will fill out your practice chart, get it signed by your parents, and turn it in at your next lesson.

  INSTRUMENT CARE Whether you own, rent, or use a school instrument, you are responsible forits care. STRINGS ROSIN—Everyone needs their OWN!  Use daily. Wipe OFF daily. BOW—Loosen the hair after every use. DUSTCLOTH—Rosin dust becomes rosin crust if not wiped off daily. BROKEN PARTS —You are responsible for notifying your music teacher immediately about any string or bridge that breaks.  BAND REEDS - Everyone needs at least TWO good reeds. DO not leave it on your mouthpiece. You may purchase them from your music teacher or at a music store. CORK GREASE – Needed for woodwind instruments. VALVE/SLIDE OIL – Needed for brass instruments.  BAND & ORCHESTRA Always open your instrument case on a flat surface, right side up.Always put your instrument back in its case when you are not playing it.Always close the latches.

Never let other people touch your instrument. It is not a toy! TAKE PRIDE IN YOUR INSTRUMENT!


1.     DO share your child's enjoyment in both practice and in performances.  React positively and with enthusiasm! 

2.     DO provide an environment of good quality listening experiences:  both recorded and live performances.  The public libraries have a collection of recordings.  The Hartford Symphony, the New Haven Symphony, Connecticut Youth Symphony (Univ. of Hartford), the Capitol Winds Concert Band (Univ. of Hartford), the UConn Bands, the U.S. Coast Guard Bands and many other groups perform regularly.  Share these activities as a family. 

3.     DO help your child plan a regular, uninterrupted practice schedule. Remember, it is always the quality of time spent, more than the amount of time. Try to practice at least FIVE days a week. 

4.     DO take time to attend school concerts in their entirety. Your child needs and appreciates your support. 

5.     DO encourage your child to play for family and friends.  

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 1.     It is recommended that you DO NOT compare his/her progress with that of others. 2.     It is also recommended that you DO NOT make fun of less-than-perfect playing. (We all had to crawl before we could walk or run!)   


Recognition and AwardsWho can get recognized for excellent work in instrumental music? 

Grade 3 – 6 Band and String students can earn a certificate and/or a pin at the end of school year for achievement in instrumental music. 

How can the awards be earned?Students can receive special recognition awards or pins at the end of the year concert if they meet these criteria during the year: 

Certificate/Awards1.     Participate in the program faithfully and keep playing throughout the year.  (Come to lessons and rehearsals with instrument and music book).2.     Come to the scheduled day and evening concerts.3.     Demonstrate good behavior in lessons, rehearsals and concerts.4.     Do your best at all times!   

Pins1.     Come to lessons regularly throughout the year with instrument and music book.   Do not have more than 3 unexcused absences during the year.2.     Come to the scheduled day and evening concerts. 3.     Demonstrate weekly progress.4.     Demonstrate consistent good behavior and attitude in all lessons, practices and concerts.                                                              


Teacher                                  School                                               

George Rowe                        Mayberry and O’Brien- Band and Strings     Hockanum- Band 

Amy Wilhelm                         Norris- Band              O’Connell, Pitkin, EHMS- Band 

Dana Lyons                            Norris, Sunset- Strings                                         

 James Bosco                          Langford- Band      Goodwin, Silver Lane- Band and Strings 

Erwin James                          Langford, Hockanum, O’ Connell    Pitkin- Strings 

Kathy Neri                            Sunset Ridge- Band 

Roberta Collins                    Sunset Ridge- Band 

Anna Lasley                          EHMS, EHHS- Strings 

Bruce Delugo                        EHMS- Band 

Julie Spagnesi                       EHHS- Band 

Candy Guastamachio          EHHS- Band                                                                              

 CONCERT DATES 2010 – 2011 Winter Concert: Elementary Instrumental Concert dates will be announced separately.  

Inter-El Concert:           Wednesday, March 30, 2011, East Hartford Middle School 

 9:45 AM: Student Performance                            7:00 PM: Evening Concert 

All-Town String Festival: Tuesday, May 17, 2011, East Hartford Middle School    

9:00 – Noon: rehearsal for grades 4-6 string players                            

7:00 PM: Evening Concert 

All-Town Band Festival: Wednesday, May 18, 2011, East Hartford Middle School                            

9:00 – Noon: Rehearsal for grade 4-6 first year players                            

7:00 PM: Evening Concert Spring Concert:

Elementary Instrumental Concert dates will be announced separately.